can this be Mareks?

Discussion in 'Emergencies / Diseases / Injuries and Cures' started by RAI4, Oct 10, 2013.

  1. RAI4

    RAI4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 30, 2013
    Hello. I have a 6 month old EE who started to limp on 1 leg 2 weeks ago.Now she cant stand for long on either leg. She has not laid an egg yet. She eats and drinks ok and her eyes look normal. Any other signs to look for? Thank you....
     
  2. GuppyTJ

    GuppyTJ Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Mar 13, 2013
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    My Coop
    Yes, this could be Marek's which is a very common disease, caused by a herpes type virus. My pathology lab that specializes in poultry necropsies told me that 3/4 of all deaths they get at her lab are due to Marek's. There are other less common things that cause lameness but unfortunately, the age of your chicken and the symptoms sound like Marek's. Does one of her legs tend to extend forward and the other backward? This is classic of Marek's. There are 4 forms of Marek's and the one that really gives it away as Marek's is the ocular (eye) form. But you said she doesn't have this symptom.

    Unfortunately, there is nothing you can do to help her and Marek's is pretty nearly 100% fatal. I had to put down 2 of my pullets due to Marek's recently and it was hard. In both cases, the pullet was eating fine, doing the best she could and didn't seem to be in any pain. But it got to the point where they were struggling to the point that it was clear that this was the best option.

    In terms of the other chickens getting Marek's, it is highly contagious, transmitted through the dander in chicken feathers and can travel on the wind many miles. Nearly all chickens (even vaccinated against Marek's chickens) are carriers of the Marek's virus but that doesn't mean it'll move from the dormant stage to the actively creating tumors and killing the chicken stage. Rather than me re-regurgitating all the details, here are a few of the better articles on Marek's that explain it.

    https://www.addl.purdue.edu/newsletters/2005/spring/mareks.htm

    http://www.merckmanuals.com/vet/poultry/neoplasms/mareks_disease_in_poultry.html

    Just google Marek's and you'll find loads of articles on it. I tend to stick to using mostly academic sources (universities, extension offices, etc) as there is often mis-information elsewhere.

    Hope this helps and I'm so sorry you're experiencing this. Marek's is ugly. I know this from personal experience, unfortunately.

    Guppy
     
  3. RAI4

    RAI4 Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 30, 2013
    Thank you very much for the info.
     

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